17/08/2011 Panerai British Classic Week, 16-23 July 2011
This year’s Panerai British Classic Week in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, saw 71 vintage and classic yachts facing weather that ranged from gales on the opening day (severe enough to put paid to the around-the-island race), to 20-knot-plus winds on the second day, plus a full spectrum of light breezes and rain throughout the remainder. Yet the camaraderie and friendly competition was as strong as ever.
Panerai – event sponsor for the second year running – laid on a highly luxurious hospitality area ashore for owners and crews, while the stunning fleet of classic yachts was complemented by 60 classic cars taking part in the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) Summer Trial, parked up in Cowes for the onlookers to admire.
On the boating front, hearty congratulations to Sir Michael Briggs for his overall regatta win in the 1904 ‘Mikado’, having dominated Class 3 with a perfect, unbeaten score; and also to the other class-winning boats, namely R.A. Rankin’s ‘Italia’ (Class 1), John Lister’s ‘Wings’ (Class 2), and David Myatt’s ‘Marguerite’ (Class 4).
But one of the delights of this much-loved regatta is the list of more colourful prizes. Namely…
The Stiff Drink Award, given to the Race Committee's Philip Gage for the fright he got when Harold Cudmore swung the bow of 'Crusader' past him, missing him by a mere 25mm at the start of the Challenge Races.
The Crunchie Awards, scooped by the crew of 'Crusader' for hitting the Cardinal Buoy; and also to the crew of 'Thelma VI' for running aground in Osborne Bay.
The Lightening Boat Award gloriously won by Bob Gatehouse of 'Erida', who couldn't find his oilskins until they appeared when he hoisted his spinnaker; and were later picked up by the boat behind.
And the Shaken Not Stirred Award, presented to the Cruising Division's David Spensley-Corfield of 'Ceilidh Mhor' and Sally Kellman of 'Croix Des Gardes', for going above and beyond the call of duty by swimming between the boats with a supply of wine in Osborne Bay.